The Harry Allen Orchestra: With Roses

The mainstream tenor player solos briefly on two tracks but otherwise gives way to arrangements and rather over-exposed vocals

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Tenor saxophonist and arranger Harry Allen (b. 1966) has issued a number of well-received small-group albums such as I’ll Never Be The Same (1992), A Night At Birdland Volumes 1 & 2 (Hamburg, 1993), A Little Touch Of Harry (1997) and Scott Hamilton/Harry Allen Live!

He has recorded with Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett and done tributes to Benny Goodman, Ellington, Zoot Sims, Cole Porter and Count Basie. His tenor style is obviously influenced by Ben Webster, Lester Young and (appropriately) Scott Hamilton.

For this session Allen selected songs composed by Roger Frankham and co-writers Bruce Brown, Roger Schore and Mark Winkler. He chose to utilise two horn sections – the first focusing on two trumpets, two tenors and one trombone, and the second consisting of two flutes, two clarinets and a bass clarinet.

On most tracks vocalist Lucy Yeghiazaryan offers crystal-clear renditions of the lyrics of these 10 original compositions. Throughout, the tempos are gentle and lilting. Curiously, Allen is heard only briefly (but enjoyably) on the title track With Roses and the closing On My Way. A minor rather than a landmark recording, With Roses fails to feature either of the horn sections enough and over-exposes Yeghiazaryan’s limited vocal talents.

Discography
It All Catches Up With You In The End; Be The One; The Maestro; Here In Rome; That Far Away Fella; Diamonds; That’s When The Fun Starts; With Roses; Takes A Moment; On My Way (47.25)
Allen (ts); John Di Martino (p); Mike Karn (b); Lucy Yeghiazaryan (v); Warren Vaché, Freddie Hendrix (t); John Allred (tb); Grant Stewart (ts); Aaron Kimmel (d); Peter Anderson, Will Anderson (cl); Dan Block (bcl); Steve Kenyon, Kathleen Nester (f); Bryan Carter (d). Paramus, New Jersey, 2023.
Triangle7 TR003